01-11-2014, 03:45 AM
#1
  • Shaun
  • Senior Member
  • St Peters, NSW, Australia
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Chaps; why spend exorbitant amounts of money for the humble alum (and I mean potassium alum, the really, properly natural alum - not the industrial by-product, the harsher ammonium alum)?

I have seen a 100gm block advertised for up to $30... plus postage. Nice packaging, but that's all you're paying for.

I use the Turkish Ali Biyikli and I bought it in six (yes 6) blocks of 70gm (online, easy to find), a total, including postage, of around $23 Australian, or 12 pounds UK. That's less than $4 a block.

Can't go wrong. Does the job.

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 01-11-2014, 07:50 AM
#2
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Found it for sale at my favourite Turkish web-shop - what is the difference between the red and green packaging?

Something to consider when the Mühle alum block I bought 3½ years ago is worn down.. which at the current rate will be a few more years Wink

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 01-11-2014, 02:36 PM
#3
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It would be even less expensive to not use alum, altogether. Biggrin
Cold water and unrefined shea butter does the trick for me.

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 01-11-2014, 04:21 PM
#4
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I feel like the single small alum block I have is going to last 30 years.

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 01-11-2014, 09:21 PM
#5
  • Shaun
  • Senior Member
  • St Peters, NSW, Australia
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Yes, they seem to go on and on, but then suddenly, one day you turn around, ten years have got behind you, no-one told you when to run: you missed the starting gun... oops, sorry, lapsing into Pink Floyd there... I find they suddenly peter out at the last. No harm having a stockpile of the good stuff.

Seriously, though, why pay more? And you can always give your buddies a free alum. Nice little presents.

As to the difference between the red and green packs: I have no idea.

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 01-11-2014, 09:42 PM
#6
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Be careful of the alum that has a greenish, yellowish, brownish tinge... it's unrefined with a lot of other minerals in there.

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 01-11-2014, 11:17 PM
#7
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(01-11-2014, 02:36 PM)celestino Wrote: It would be even less expensive to not use alum, altogether. Biggrin
Cold water and unrefined shea butter does the trick for me.

:-)

Might be less expensive, but one might have fewer "close" friends... Another use for K alum is on underarms not only the face.

Here's one Amazon link:Amazon link to $1.35 potassium alum

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 01-12-2014, 02:58 AM
#8
  • Shaun
  • Senior Member
  • St Peters, NSW, Australia
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(01-11-2014, 11:17 PM)ShadowsDad Wrote:
(01-11-2014, 02:36 PM)celestino Wrote: It would be even less expensive to not use alum, altogether. Biggrin
Cold water and unrefined shea butter does the trick for me.

:-)

Might be less expensive, but one might have fewer "close" friends... Another use for K alum is on underarms not only the face.

Here's one Amazon link:Amazon link to $1.35 potassium alum

Ha ha, so funny... and wow, that really is cheap, isn't it?

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 01-12-2014, 08:03 AM
#9
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(01-11-2014, 02:36 PM)celestino Wrote: It would be even less expensive to not use alum, altogether. Biggrin
Cold water and unrefined shea butter does the trick for me.

What are the benefits of the unrefined shea butter and where can it be bought?

edit: nevermind, did a search in google and it pointed me towards:

http://shavenook.com/thread-unrefined-or...hea-butter

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 01-15-2014, 11:00 PM
#10
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I just picked up a big block on Amazon for $8 shipped.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FA35...UTF8&psc=1

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 01-16-2014, 01:47 AM
#11
  • Shaun
  • Senior Member
  • St Peters, NSW, Australia
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(01-15-2014, 11:00 PM)bman437 Wrote: I just picked up a big block on Amazon for $8 shipped.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FA35...UTF8&psc=1

Fantastic label Smile Looks a bit like me, that guy Smile

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 01-16-2014, 02:05 AM
#12
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I didn't knew that alum blocks were so difficult to find in the USA.

Luckily, I'm able to buy locally good quality alum blocks at brick-and-mortar shops, without paying the premium price...

The last alum block that I bought was this one:

[Image: P1060094.jpg]

...for about €2 or so. Smile

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 01-16-2014, 02:07 AM
#13
  • Shaun
  • Senior Member
  • St Peters, NSW, Australia
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More confirmation of serious overcharging for what can clearly be bought for much, much cheaper. Nice one, Oversaturn.

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 01-20-2014, 03:12 PM
#14
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(01-16-2014, 01:47 AM)Shaun Wrote:
(01-15-2014, 11:00 PM)bman437 Wrote: I just picked up a big block on Amazon for $8 shipped.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FA35...UTF8&psc=1

Fantastic label Smile Looks a bit like me, that guy Smile

That's how I picture myself looking if I had black hair and a handlebar mustache!

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 01-20-2014, 10:22 PM
#15
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(01-15-2014, 11:00 PM)bman437 Wrote: I just picked up a big block on Amazon for $8 shipped.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FA35...UTF8&psc=1

I'm very doubtful that is natural potassium alum. Looks to me like a chinese block, most of which aren't natural alum, even though the chinese say they are. Notice there is not country of origin on the packaging which is a huge red flag. Not all alum is created equal.

The $20-30 blocks from the big UK outfits are sourced from OSMA, good alum, way overpriced, you are paying for the name on the packaging.

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 01-21-2014, 12:54 AM
#16
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FWIW, the Turkish alum I linked to isn't such a great deal. They are "hotel size" alum blocks. I far prefer a larger block.

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 01-21-2014, 07:24 AM
#17
  • Songwind
  • Soap Slinger & Scuttle Pusher
  • Burnsville, MN
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(01-16-2014, 02:05 AM)oversaturn Wrote: I didn't knew that alum blocks were so difficult to find in the USA.

You can get alum in lots of stores in the US, sold as "natural" or "crystal" deodorant. Some are potassium alum, some are ammonium alum, but it's easy to read the labels.

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 01-21-2014, 09:02 AM
#18
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(01-21-2014, 07:24 AM)Songwind Wrote:
(01-16-2014, 02:05 AM)oversaturn Wrote: I didn't knew that alum blocks were so difficult to find in the USA.

You can get alum in lots of stores in the US, sold as "natural" or "crystal" deodorant. Some are potassium alum, some are ammonium alum, but it's easy to read the labels.

Oh, I see.

Beware that not all alum is "natural" as they say.
Ammonium alum is not natural, it is synthesized.

Potassium alum (the one you want for your face) can be either the natural mineral crystal block (like the ones from OSMA, SAL and Allume de Rocca, among other brands) or a synthesized block.

I'm not saying that natural potassium alum is better than synthesized potassium alum (or otherwise). Probably, there are some nice synthesized potassium alum blocks. But that detail can be important for some people.

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 01-21-2014, 03:12 PM
#19
  • Shaun
  • Senior Member
  • St Peters, NSW, Australia
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(01-21-2014, 09:02 AM)oversaturn Wrote:
(01-21-2014, 07:24 AM)Songwind Wrote:
(01-16-2014, 02:05 AM)oversaturn Wrote: I didn't knew that alum blocks were so difficult to find in the USA.

You can get alum in lots of stores in the US, sold as "natural" or "crystal" deodorant. Some are potassium alum, some are ammonium alum, but it's easy to read the labels.

Oh, I see.

Beware that not all alum is "natural" as they say.
Ammonium alum is not natural, it is synthesized.

Potassium alum (the one you want for your face) can be either the natural mineral crystal block (like the ones from OSMA, SAL and Allume de Rocca, among other brands) or a synthesized block.

I'm not saying that natural potassium alum is better than synthesized potassium alum (or otherwise). Probably, there are some nice synthesized potassium alum blocks. But that detail can be important for some people.

This is quite true re 'natural crystal'. Often there is NO detailed label, though, and they are simply advertised as 'natural', which is totally meaningless, really. Natural crystal blocks are frequently ammonium alum which is an industrial by-product and can be VERY harsh on the face for some folk. It CAN be ok on the face, but potassium alum is the preferred product... for shaving.

The rule for me is: if it doesn't specify exactly what the substance is, don't buy it.

The main point of the thread though is: why pay more for alum, when it can be purchased very cheaply indeed. That's marketing and branding, I suppose, but I think overcharging is deceptive and dishonest.

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 01-21-2014, 06:12 PM
#20
  • 6530
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OK, now I'm confused. So which one of the alum blocks above should I buy??

Sent from my mobile phone.

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